But even the best season of them all is not without its pitfalls.
I adore the smell of a sun creamed baby snuggled up for a cuddle. Nothing says summer more than that. But the 45 minute stand off to put the cream on? Not so much. Nor the tantrum 10 minutes later as they demand "sun cream off now"! And have you ever to tried to get a freshly creamed toddler into a car seat? It's like wrestling an eel in a vat of olive oil.
My son in a sand pit is happier than a pig in... mud. I love the easy childcare a sandpit provides. I just sit back and watch him entertain himself for hours! But the combination of (now sticky) sun cream and sand is not for the faint hearted. The slippery eel becomes a crusty, scratchy, sandpaper demon intent on getting sand into every orifice of every human in a 1/2 mile radius. I recently had to take my bra off in public to shake the sand out of it.
There's nothing lovelier than a mr whippy with a flake on a bright sunny afternoon. And watching the tiddlers delight in their seasonal treat is a sight for sore eyes. I don't even mind the ice cream on their faces and tshirts. But why does it always get on MY clothes too? The last one ended up on my shin. (I have no idea!) And don't get me started on the "dropped cone" scenario! End. Of. The. World.
Toddlers in the nuddy, splashing with their friends is cuteness personified. But pumping up the sodding thing, waiting for it to fill up, the water being too cold for the first 3 hours, the dripping wet children sitting on your lap, slipping on the patio. It's ALMOST not worth the hassle!
Who doesn't love a picnic? Lying on a blanket nibbling sandwiches and basking in the sun? My main problem with picnic lies in my toddler's addiction to them. Another few days of nice weather and we'll be having breakfast picnics in the park. I'm also not a fan of the new friends you acquire during a public picnic. Other people's children that suddenly appear, scrounging for scraps of your peanut butter sandwiches. I can't afford to feed the whole neighbourhood!
This is a personal one. We have a playground literally on our doorstep. We can see it from every room in the house. In summer there's always a child playing in it, and because we live on a little estate, we know all the kids. Amazing right? A constant stream of friends to play with in a safe outdoor space? Yes. It's fantastic.
But it's RIGHT THERE. It's there at 6am, all shiny, sunny and appealing. It's there at nap time, when we can hear little Archie and Jake playing on their bikes. And at bedtime it's chock full of fun, exciting, big kids who adore the boys and say things like "oh whhyyy does he have to go to bed now?" Thanks kids!
What are your favourite/ not favourite things about summer with the little peeps?